Freddy Corbin – Tattoo Age – VICE – 4 of 4

Freddy Corbin – Tattoo Age – VICE – 4 of 4


FREDDY CORBIN: I tell them the
story, you know, well, I did my brother’s funeral here, and
I got married, and I’m having a baby, so I’m kind of coming
back for good juju for his birth and stuff like that. And they just got it. They’re way into thinking
like that. You know what I mean? So they just totally got it. We were trying to figure
out a place to tattoo. They told them what I was doing,
and asked them if it was OK if I tattooed
at the temple. They really dug the intention
of what we were doing. They were just dumbfounded, why
would you come here and tattoo us for free? Now, the temple would literally
only fit a few people in there. But we would do a puja every
morning, build an altar donate fruit to the sadhus,
the Brahmin priests that are monastic. My friend, Vinnie, that I was
telling you about, made a big flower mandala. We decorated the whole temple
with flowers and marigolds and stuff. It was really beautiful. It was really magical. So I just drew up this piece of
flash, any of these seven designs for free. I wrote it out in Hindi that
there was no charge. It was only symbols. It was religious symbols. So there was a Tibetan om, a
Hindu om, a Buddhist om, a cross, and a swastika with a– The swastikas over there usually
has four dots in them, one for each element. And it’s funny because I did
tons of crosses, and I didn’t do one swastika, which I thought
was kind of unusual. But they were like, since World
War II, we don’t really push the swastika so much. It’s all over our religious
artwork. It’s all over our buildings and
our clothes, but, at the same time, they get that it
kind of hurts people’s feelings, in a way, which I
thought was pretty cool. There was probably 50 guys
hanging out, and everybody’s like, oh, me, me, me, me,
me first, me first. So we were basically trying
to figure out how are we going to do this? And are we going to
give them tickets? So my friend, Little Mary,
was really good. She had a great idea. She’s like, just take a Sharpie
and just draw a number on them and sign it. So I would basically just
write number one, cross, and sign it. Number two, om, sign it. Dustin, my apprentice,
was just on point. He was right there next to me,
handing me a clean set up as soon as I– I’d take a smoke break every
four or five or whatever, but we worked pretty labor
intensively because we were tattooing under the
light of day. MALE SPEAKER: Were you the
only guy tattooing? FREDDY CORBIN: Yeah. Going into the night, I
had a head lamp on. So we only had a little bit
after dark to do it before they had to do the closing
ceremony and lock the doors and stuff. Then we’d go in back
and smoke hash with the priests and stuff. It was really awesome. A really sweet thing when I was
there the first time, I met this two really cool kids. It was Raj and Raju,
they’re brothers. So Raj wanted to be
the first one. He’s like, Freddy, can
I be the first one? Of course, of course. And just perfect for India
because no rules apply. I had the seven that you could
only get, but at the bottom, there was a little pyramid
with an eye, and he wanted that. So the first thing I did was
break the rules of only getting the seven and then
everybody was like, well, can I get it? And I was like, no,
no, no, only Raj. Only Raj. Only Raj. So I tattooed a cross on his
younger brother’s neck and it looked pretty cool. I mean, it was on his neck, he’s
like 16 years old now. And my cut off point
was 15 years old. So there was a lot of kids there
wanting to get tattooed, and I’d say, I can’t
touch you, your parents would get mad. I have no parents. I am alone in the world. They give you this shtick. You know half the time
it’s true, maybe. I don’t know. There was a deaf
kid named Raul. He was deaf and dumb. And he obviously couldn’t speak
or hear, and the older guys would let him
hang around. But you’d see other guys kind
of fucking with him a little bit, like teasing
him and stuff. He was young, so
he kept saying, I want to get tattooed. I want to get tattooed. I was like, no, no, no, no. And so after the first night,
I went to dinner with Dustin and Vinnie, and fortunately,
they brought it to my attention. They said this poor kid is
already missing out on so much in life, like not being
able to hear or speak. Other people are mocking him
and teasing him and stuff. This is just like one more
cool thing that’s coming through town that he doesn’t
get to participate in. And I immediately wanted
to tattoo him, but I’m like he’s so young. You know what mean? I know he was 11. I got Raul, the 11-year-old,
tattooed, and he got an S and an I with two periods
after them. Still to this day, nobody knows
what that stands for. So I said OK, we’ll
go to your house. I’ll tattoo you and Raj again. I’ll tattoo Sunny. He’s like, maybe my mom
wants to get tattooed. I started getting nervous as
we’re going to the house because I’m going
to meet his mom. And I just tattooed
her kid’s neck. You know what I mean? So I’m like, was it OK
with your mom that you guys got tattooed? Oh no. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s totally cool. It’s totally cool. I don’t know if they’re just
telling me that because they want to get me there– it’s really cool or whatever. So we show up at the house and
the first thing I said after nice to meet you, was I really
hope it’s OK that I tattooed your sons’ necks. And she was like, oh,
we’re Christians. I was like, oh, killer, OK. Like no problem.

69 thoughts on “Freddy Corbin – Tattoo Age – VICE – 4 of 4

  1. i want to do something like this someday… even though i know it will be nothing as amazing as ed's gift to these people.

  2. freddy gets it. he gets it. "After all this is over, all that will really have mattered is how we treated each other."

  3. see this is what life is about… Good vibes, great friends,big hearts and just leaving a print in people's lives.. cant explain it. if you get it then you do, if not then you're just a sheeple.

  4. In 1992 I picked up an copy of Tattoo. Freddy was in that issue, a year later I headed to Tattoo City and met the man. My favorite tattoo, and one of the best day I ever had.

  5. Deuteronomy 5:8 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

  6. Vice, please upload more videos of Freddy Corbin! He is an inspiration to anyone and everyone! If not, could you possibly get Henry Rollins on here?

  7. This is the raddest fuckin' dude I've ever met in my life. He's also probably the raddest fuckin' dude I'll ever meet. I have 2 pieces by him from a couple years ago and and am now gearing up for a 3rd. In the decision process of this 3rd piece I started thinking this guys too damn cool not to have information about him on the internet. Low and behold I type his name into google and he has a damn mini-documentary on his life. Un-fucking-real.

  8. India is such a mystery!
    A christian boy named Raj (a very hindu name), gets tattooed by a Californian (no one asks for his Indian tatoo licence) in a Hindu temple in Varanasi (one of the most religious place for all Indians) on the banks of river Ganga & the Hindu priests overlooking the whole process can smoke as much ganja as they want! 🙂
    No one can understand India…

  9. I love how free this man is. I wish I could be as spiritual as him but I just don't believe. Everything he does though seems so chill. I want to help people the way he has.

  10. You can tell by listening to Freddy talk about his life and times hes lived through that hes grown into such a good and free spirit with kindness that is rarely seen. A true legend.

  11. That neck tattoo was nicely done and very beautiful. The locals were so lucky, not only did they get free tats, but they got tatted by one of the best tattoo artists around!!

  12. That’s wild I did the same thing for this 14 year old he could not talk or hear and he had muscular distrophy any way every body picked on him so I gave him his first tattoo at 14 no one said shit to me I did a spade playing card and a skull he had nothing and I though this is going to make him feel better about his self and he was like a different kid wen I did it it made him into a new person I was so happy it sure made a diffe4ence in his life go figure a tattoo that’s cool I can’t believ3 he did the sam3 thing cool

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